The Hague

8 April 2013

Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with: President of the International Criminal Court, Judge Song; President of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Judge Meron; President of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Judge Fisher; Pr

The Secretary-General met today with the Presidents of international criminal courts and tribunals at the Peace Palace.

The Secretary-General highlighted the important role which international criminal proceedings have played in the past two decades in ensuring accountability for serious international crimes, creating a historical record of tragic events, preventing revisionism and avoiding conflict.  Through their proceedings, the international and UN-assisted criminal courts and tribunals have given a voice to victims.

The Secretary-General, noting that yesterday was the International Day of Remembrance of the Rwandan Genocide, emphasised that the work of the international criminal courts and tribunals has demonstrated that no person, no matter how powerful, is above the law.

The Secretary-General affirmed the vital role of justice in any reconciliation process, and highlighted that prevention of atrocity crimes is a key focus of the work of the United Nations.

The Secretary-General and the Presidents discussed the importance of Member States’ cooperation with the ICC and the international and UN-assisted tribunals, including in relation to the arrest of indicted persons; the relocation of persons who have been acquitted or have served their sentences; and the provision of secure funding for international criminal justice. The need for respect for the integrity of the judicial process at all stages of the proceedings of the international criminal tribunals was highlighted.